Gruen Architecture with Gruen Eco Design
Binowee Hemphaus by Gruen Architecture serves as a pioneering example of sustainable living in Viewbank, Melbourne’s northern suburbs. This remarkable home, cascading gracefully down the site, is a testament to the unwavering dedication of its owners to eco-conscious living.
From the outside, Binowee Hemphaus exudes a humble charm, blending seamlessly with its surroundings. However, beneath its unassuming exterior lies a cutting-edge marvel of sustainable architecture. Constructed using 300mm carbon-hungry hempcrete walls, this home is not only wonderfully ventilated, but also maintains a stable internal temperature throughout the year. The structurally insulated roof panels with highlight windows ensure ample natural light and energy efficiency.
The client’s vision for their home was clear: a sunny and inviting sanctuary for their young family, embracing a modern and fresh interior aesthetic. The result is a four-bedroom abode with two spacious living areas, challenging preconceived notions about hempcrete homes being rustic.
This home goes beyond industry standards, setting new benchmarks for healthy, energy-efficient living. A heat recovery ventilation system maintains pristine indoor air quality within an airtight envelope, crucial for achieving passive house certification. The landscape design seamlessly integrates sustainability and native biodiversity, showcasing predominantly native, drought-tolerant plants that reduce water consumption and support local wildlife. Recycled materials, including old bridge beams and 80 percent recycled plastics, underline a firm commitment to sustainability and resource conservation.
Moreover, Binowee Hemphaus represents a commitment to sustainability at every stage of the project. Despite facing challenges such as labour shortages during the pandemic, the project team’s collaborative spirit and dedication prevailed. The home boasts triple-glazed windows, EcoPact concrete, wood fibre insulation, and reclaimed materials, all contributing to its impressive 8.3-star NatHERS rating.
This home is a true testament to the synergy between sustainable design and comfortable living. It not only fulfils the clients’ eco-friendly aspirations but also paves the way for a more environmentally conscious future.
Photography by Marnie Hawson